The best defenders of the 00s

FLORENCE, ITALY: Italy's player Alessandro Nesta answers journalists' questions at Coverciano training camp near Florence 26 May 2004. The Italian national team is in Coverciano until June 5 and will fly out to Portugal two days later for the summer's European 2004 football championship. Italy has been drawn to face Sweden, Denmark and Bulgaria in Group C of the tournament. AFP PHOTO/Vincenzo PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Successful teams tend to be built on rock-solid defences – and rock-solid defences tend to be comprised of exceedingly good defenders.

From no-nonsense centre-halves to gallivanting full-backs, the first decade of the 21st century saw some absolute superstars grace the pitch in that department.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Hancock

Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for the Premier League and Opta Analyst, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...